The time has come

May 4, 2012

I love The Walrus and the Carpenter. There are few lines within it that I cannot apply to some part of our topsy turvy world. For the rest, I theorize that the other lines apply to death and I do not, as yet, fully understand them. Perhaps I love the weird mind of Lewis Carroll so much that I make allowances in my own thinking, make things fit.

What do my favorite lines about shoes and ships and sealing wax, cabbages and kings, mean?

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”

I have no idea, though in the story the walrus natters on about all kinds of things as he prepares to make a meal of the innocence of youth, savoring the largest youngsters with his butter, pepper, vinegar and bread.

In those lines I hear about the meat and potatoes life of the Irish. Important things. Life things. Things that boil in our Irish blood. Things that get left behind when people forget there are others involved in their lives, people who once meant something. The words are distractions for very dark, very heavy things. Watch out for those long forgotten kings. They sometimes make their presence known when least expected. Lewis Carroll was English; he would have known such things.

I don’t know why I thought of the Irish. Of course, we can make much of our reading to mean most anything we wish.

When is the sea boiling hot? And when do pigs fly? Soon, methinks.


  1. My pigs fly, and swim, and eat purple coloured lollipops while tapping their toes to the cricket band. They also fart three times after every mouthful.

  2. And I go along with your pigs, as far as they will allow me to go. :)

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